Am I hopelessly stupid?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by donsgal, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Ok, here is the deal.

    Is it JUST ME or is it really difficult to tell the breeds of sheep apart?

    Obvioiusly, I can tell that a Shetland is not a Dorset. I can tell a Suffolk is not a Corriedale. But there are a lot of sheep (especially when recently shorn) that I cannot tell apart.

    I can tell a Leicester because of the humpy nose thing and shetlands because they are small (ditto babydolls). Cheviots have the ear thing which makes it easy to recognize. Jacob are easy because of the horns and coloring. Texel - well they're just ugly. But HOW do you tell the difference between Romney, Rambouillet, Dorset, Polypay, CVM, Coopeworth, Corriedale, Merino and Lincoln when they are shorn? They look exactly alike to me.

    But I am getting embarassed asking people what kind of sheep they are when I really, really should know. Any tips?

    donsgal
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Stop asking, or stop feeling embarassed, its difficult for everyone looking at shorn sheep. Small tip though if you're at a show, do look for breed or farm signs prominently displayed; it's hard not to be embarassed asking if that shorn lamb is a particular breed when it's standing under a Lincoln Sheep farm sign. Ask me how I know.
     

  3. MTDeb

    MTDeb Well-Known Member

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    No, that's not stupid, especially when they're sheared. The ones I REALLY can't tell apart are Suffolk and Hampshire.
     
  4. eieiomom

    eieiomom Well-Known Member

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    OK, Ross.....
    how do ewe know ?
    :p
     
  5. eieiomom

    eieiomom Well-Known Member

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    Donsgal,

    That's ok, the sheep can't tell each other apart either. After shearing here, it usually takes some time after shearing for their own flockmates to recognize each other. Always some head butting among them, whether they are Lincolns, Rambouillet, Friesians or crosses with Polypay, Dorset, Merino etc... :)
     
  6. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

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    Join the club of stupid sheep people :rolleyes: Icelandics can look like shetlands, hamps like suffolks...there are so many breeds that look like one of parent breeds used to create them that it's often times difficult to tell.

    Lincoln sheep or Lincoln county? :p
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    No, your not stupid at all :) I keep a flock of 25 breeding ewes, some of which are getting pretty long in the tooth now. They are a mixed bag of BL, Merino and Romney. They are to be shorn tomorrow and tonight when I brought them in to yard up I could recognise every one of them. Tomorrow they will all look exactly the same except for the three with long tails, a girl that has broken her jaw at some stage of her life and a couple of sheep that are more BL than anything else and still show the roman nose. The merino are easy to pick out too but I know for sure that I won't know which particular sheep it is I'm looking at.

    So now you can rest easy knowing that your not the only thicky in the world :)

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. Slev

    Slev Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ...you do know, if enough wine is consumed, it really doesn't matter. When I go drinking with my ram to the local bars, and get him drunk enough, ...why even the ugly ewes looks good to him. (none of the ugly ewes liked the paper bag method.) Plus another advantage to this method of breeding, you don't need to bother with those cumbersome marking harness'
     
  9. ShortSheep

    ShortSheep Well-Known Member

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    A lot of the commercial breeds were developed by using other breeds, so a lot of them look similar. To me, anything "improved" rather than primative is either a "big blackface" or a "big white". :p
     
  10. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Thanks so much for your replies everybody. I'm so glad that I am not the only one! LOL. Now I won't be embarassed to ask!

    donsgal
     
  11. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    The ewes were shorn yesterday and just as I said, they now all look exactly the same. I can pick out long-tailed Lambie and her twins, Wobblejaws (of the previously broken lower jaw) and Monkey Face and her sister both of which also have their tails but Monkey Face is slightly larger than her sister.

    These sheep haven't been shorn for a year so were in full wool. They had come through a pretty tough winter and a dry spring so was expecting them to be on the skinny side since most have a lamb (or two) at foot. Not so. My shearer is a wirey little man of 60 who can still shear a full wool in 1.39minutes (and as I rousy for him and fill the pens, it means I'm going like the clappers to keep up with him) but by the 4th ewe he was bitching like hell about my big ewes. He was right too, they were enormous and nothing skinny about them at all. Then he got to the two rams and really spewed :rolleyes:

    I wish I knew somebody that was a good spinner - the Merino x has the most beautiful and unusual coloured fleece, black stippled with grey on top and underneath it's grey and almost white. Would look fantastic carded and spun but would need a good spinner to deal with the closeness of the wool.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  12. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "Texel - well they're just ugly."

    Until you get the skin off and see the size of the lamb chops. Then they are just plain Purdy.

    Cal reds have red faces and legs whether they have fleece or have been shorn. Always can find my sheep.
     
  13. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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